What is COVID-19? How do you recognize it? And what do you do if you think you have it? Use this section to learn how to recognize COVID-19, what do if you think your are sick and how to care for yourself and others. If you would like to be tested or if you need specific medical advice, contact your healthcare provider. If you do not have a healthcare provider, see a list of clinic and pharmacy locations offering testing on the Spokane County Testing Locations page. If you are concerned that you have COVID-19, visit the Exposure and Diagnosis page.

Understanding Coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the 2019 novel (new) coronavirus. COVID-19 is short for Coronavirus Disease 2019. The scientific name for the virus is SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses most often associated with the common cold in humans. Coronaviruses are commonly found in many animal species, including cattle, cats and bats. Animal coronaviruses can sometimes infect people and then change, allowing them to spread from person to person, which occurred in the case of the SARS virus in 2002-2003 and with the MERS virus in 2012.

See the tabs above for information about symptoms and risk and to view frequently asked questions.